Microsoft has announced the initial phase of its business-channel expansion plans for the Surface family of PCs, in a bid to drive dwindling sales of the product.
Along with AppsForSurface, CEO Steve Ballmer revealed a new Surface application-development program for independent software vendors (ISVs), as part of an approach to grow the Surface business.
The Microsoft Devices Program as it is known, allows customers to purchase Surface and commercial services through authorised resellers.
The two-tier program establishes Ingram Micro, SYNNEX and Tech Data as inaugural device-authorised distributors to sell Surface to a newly designated group of device-authorised commercial resellers.
Intended to drive Surface sales into the enterprise, government and education, Microsoft released the following statement confirming the initiative:
"In addition to offering Microsoft’s extended warranty and accidental damage, resellers bring a variety of value-added services to the Surface family such as asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection.
"During the next few months, Microsoft will work to authorise commercial distributors and resellers in more countries.
"AppsForSurface, a new ISV program that provides devices and funding for Surface-specific business applications, addresses the growing demand for Surface enterprise applications. Current program participants include Airstrip, Citrix, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Sage.